As Midnight has evolved from mere book to full blown cultural phenomenon, the
direct effect on Savannah has been its growth from sleepy town to significant tourist
destination. In fact, since Midnight's original publication in January 1994, tourism in Savannah has increased by a whopping 46% and it is estimated that between $100 and
$200 million in tourist dollars have flooded the city. Nowadays, it is common to see
tourists walking the streets, clutching what the locals refer to as "The Book," hoping to
catch a glimpse of the female impersonator Lady Chablis or to photograph Jim Williams'
Mercer House. As The New York Times observed, "not since William Tecumseh
Sherman spared Savannah from the torch has this city been so indebted to a Yankee."